Teaching Children about Hearing Aids
Family get-togethers and celebrations are the perfect time to talk to children about hearing aids, especially if one of your relatives wears one. If you wear hearing aids for instance, it’s only natural for kids to be curious. The first thing you should do is tell the child what the hearing aids are for, but if he / she is very young, a different approach will be necessary.
Communicating with Young Children
With children 2 to 5 years old
The best way is to play games like Peek-a-boo and variations so they learn to establish eye contact. When with toddlers, remember that they like to play with objects using their hands and mouth so keep the hearing aids and batteries in a safe place.
For children ages 5 to 7
It can be a bit difficult as they’re often noisy. To make conversation easier, ask them to turn down the volume of the TV or computer when talking. Also make sure you make eye contact with the kids and speak slowly so you understand each other. Also, you should tell these kids that hearing aids are not toys.
Of course just because you tell them doesn’t mean they won’t be curious, so make sure that your hearing aids are kept in a safe place.
Children 7 to 10 Years of Age
Children in this age bracket are old enough to understand the meaning of hearing loss. At this point you can tell them about the hearing aids and what it’s supposed to do, and why you need to make eye contact when speaking. Again, children in this age group will have no trouble understanding if you ask them to talk slowly, so tell them.
Conversing with Children 10 to 14 Years of Age
Children 10 to 14 years of age are usually techno savvy so use that to your benefit. Email and text messaging are very effective so take advantage of it. If you’re speaking to them in person, ask them to speak clearly and slowly, and while hearing aids can be effective, it’s better if they are just a few feet in front of you. If the conversation is important, go to a quiet room.
If you’re planning to spend some time with young kids, it’s a good idea to plan ahead so you’ll know what to tell them and how. If you don’t plan ahead, things could get confusing especially since they’re bound to ask a lot of questions. By preparing yourself, this won’t become an issue and actually lead to greater understanding.
Finally, if the child said something you didn’t understand, don’t pretend you do. Just tell him / her “I’m sorry but I didn’t understand. Could you please repeat that?”
If you think your family or you need a hearing aid, make sure to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.
HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,
and Hearing Aid Prescription